The University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette) and the University of Idaho retained Evergreen Solutions to provide evaluation services of the Emergency Management for Higher Education Grant; increasing Evergreen Solutions’ total number of Emergency Management grant evaluations to five. Our experience with these evaluations allowed us to strengthen our process and effectively apply emergency management best practices to our evaluation methodology. In addition, our unique understanding of desirable program performance and outcome allowed us to provide detailed feedback and direction for all grant program initiatives, while incorporating the needs of the specific educational institution using the grant funds. Evergreen focused on the underlying goal of each Emergency Management Grant program to increase the educational institutions effectiveness in the four components of an effective Emergency Management Plan, including prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Evergreen’s process included designing and disseminating methods of evaluation, as well as collecting and tracking quantitative and qualitative data for each of the project’s objectives and measurements. Specifically for these evaluations, Evergreen ensured that Emergency Management grant funds increased the number of NIMS compliant employees, collected background data on each University’s current emergency management program as it related to the goals and objectives of the grant, identified current data collection methods and conduct gap analysis, conducted a pre-assessment for the quantitative and qualitative benchmarks to set a starting point to determine where each University stood at the beginning of the evaluation period, developed a sustainable performance measurement system that evaluated each University’s Emergency Management Grant, design and disseminated methods of evaluation appropriate to goals, objectives, and outcomes of the projects, collected and tracked quantitative and qualitative data for each of the project’s objectives and measurements, and conducted a post-assessment for the quantitative benchmarks and qualitative benchmarks to determine where each University stood at the end of the evaluation period. To conclude each evaluation, Evergreen determined whether each University met the qualitative and quantitative benchmarks established at the beginning of the evaluation process and summarized all findings in a final report.